“The Voice” Recap: It’s Getting Hot in Here, so Usher Take Off Your Clothes, Please.

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Posted by on 05/13/2013 at 10:54 PM News

The Popdust Files: adam levine, Amber Carrington, Blake Shelton, Danielle Bradbery, Garrett Gardner, Holly Tucker, Josiah Hawley, Judith Hill, Kris Thomas, Michelle Chamuel, recaps, Sarah Simmons, Sasha Allen, shakira, The Swon Brothers, the voice, tv, usher, Vedo

The air conditioner is broken! Mayhem! Carson looks like he’s been hysterically laugh-crying for the last several hours. Something tells me this is going to get sloppy.

First up is Vedo. Usher has given him Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You,” and he’s going to dance it out. Ursh gives a master class in dancing seductively in all of 30 seconds. Because he’s a professional. The performance is interesting. He dances well, but vocally it’s not great. He seems to be struggling with some of the high notes. He’s a charming guy, though, and he seems to be having fun. The coaches are quite a bit nicer to him than he maybe deserves, but they’re also probably delusional from the heat, so it’s fine.

Holly Tucker is singing “With a Broken Wing” by Martina McBride. She apparently put out a few records on her own a few years back, which Blake says shows that this isn’t “just a hobby.” Okay, sure. She’s real good. This is a perfect song for her, and she is able to really wail on it. Everyone adores her. Usher calls anyone who ever doubted her an idiot, and Blake thinks she did Martina proud.

Things are getting real loosey-goosey up in “The Voice” tonight. Carson has rolled up his sleeves and is sweating it out for real. He’s also doing some hilarious riffing. I hope the air never comes back on. Heat stroke Carson is funny.

Shakira has Garrett Gardner performing a rock version of The Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way.” HMM. Interesting choice. He has his guitar, and he’s just growling through the song. It’s weird. They didn’t really do much to change it, other than adding more guitar and lots of rasp. I don’t think he sounds particularly great, but the audience seems to be digging it. Adam hated it. Blake likes that he did something different. Shakira thinks that it was great and cool and that people will be on board. I am not so sure. Usher takes his shirt off. Of course he did. Whoever sabotaged the AC, thank you. Flawless plan, beautifully executed.

Since we got what we wanted and Usher took his shirt off, the powers that be have turned the AC back on. Can’t have too much of a good thing. Sarah Simmons is going to be singing “The Story” by Brandi Carlile. This is a great song, and Adam is encouraging her to add some rock edginess to it. Sarah has such a cool voice. Blake really nails it when he thanks her for showing the extremes of her voice. She has a great, beautiful falsetto, but she also has a really wild raw grittiness to her at the same time. There are a couple of moments that get a little rough when she’s letting loose and doing a bit of screaming, but overall it’s a great performance.

The Swon Brothers have asked Blake if they can perform George Jones’s “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes.” One brother is on the piano, the other on guitar, and it’s a lovely performance. Just an incredibly understated, nice rendition. It’s definitely my favorite performance of theirs. Blake calls it their breakout moment, and gives them credit for taking a risk.

Sasha Allen is going to sing Heart’s “Alone.” Oh man. This song is such an anthem. Shakira warns her not to get too theatrical in her performance, which leads us to the discovery that Sasha was on Broadway in Hair. She gets super emotional in the song. I’m not sure that she took the note to dial down the theatrics, because this certainly feels acted. She sounds great, though. As always. Adam is so mad at himself for letting her go. No freaking kidding, ya bozo.

Next up is the freakishly handsome Josiah Hawley. He’s singing “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” by The Script. He’s perched on a stool, strumming an acoustic guitar. There sure has been a lot of arm waving from the audience tonight. Josiah sounds good. I think this stripped down, acoustic style is where he shines. Adam thinks it’s the best he’s ever sounded. Usher loves that he’s basically Adam 2.0. BROMANCE! Blake is seething, I imagine.

Danielle Bradbery is up next. We see some pictures of her being cute and normal and 17. She’s singing Carrie Underwood’s “Wasted.” She’s so adorable. I think if there’s one person on this show who is packaged for stardom, it’s Danielle. She’s just so darn commercial. She sounds awesome on the song, and it’s not an easy one to sing either. Shakira says that she is the “16-year-old Margaret Thatcher.” I have no idea what that means. Blake wants everyone to know that Danielle is the same person we saw in the home footage. AKA innocent. AKA Taylor Swift before she started eating boyfriends.

Fun Carson is gone. The AC is fully blasting, and the suit jacket has gone back on. I miss the Carson who was turning into a puddle and on the verge of a breakdown.

Judith Hill is performing Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend.” She’s playing piano, with no extra accompaniment from the band because she’s badass. I mean, what is there to say? Judith is just a professional. It’s so clear when you’re watching her that she has had a long, successful career. She’s calm, and collected, and just handles the song in a way that is unique to a seasoned performer. All the coaches are fans of hers. It’s hard not to be.

Michelle Chamuel is up next, singing Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend.” Michelle is so fun. She is clearly enjoying herself, and she’s got some great dance moves, and she does great jacket work. Vocally it’s decent. Not the best she’s ever done, but that might just be because this isn’t a particularly show off-y song. But it’s super enjoyable, and Michelle continues to be the most lovable one in the competition for me.

Kris Thomas is singing “I’ll Be There” by Jackson 5. Kris seems nice, but I’m still mad at him for being here instead of Karina Iglesias. He’s fine. He has a high voice, and that’s his schtick, and that’s what he’s doing here. His falsetto is pretty, but there are some problems in this. I don’t know. He just doesn’t do a ton for me. Meh.

The final performance comes from Amber Carrington. She’s singing “I’m Gonna Love You Through It” by Martina McBride. Wow. Two Martina songs, two Michael Jackson songs… diversify your song books, show! Amber chose this song because she connects to it. It’s about cancer, and Amber lost her mom to cancer, so it’s going to be an emotional performance. Amber has been a surprise for me. When Adam picked her, I really thought he was grabbing her as a sacrificial lamb for the battles, but she’s really turned out to be strong. She handles this song extremely well, and it’s nice to see her on a country song again.

Tomorrow, the two lowest vote getters will be sent home. Will the AC go out again? All I ask is a panel of judges in speedos. Is that too much to hope for?

Stand out performance: Tonight was less than stellar. Nearly every performance was solid, but nothing really blew me away. I think my favorite performance might have been The Swon Brothers, though I have a feeling I’m in the minority there.

Coach MVP: Usher’s arms.

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